Canadian auto parts manufacturer, Magna, will manufacture the BMW 5 Series plug-in hybrids in its factory in Austria. The move is a part of the company's strategy to produce electric cars on a contract basis for international carmakers.
The BMW 530 plug-in hybrid will be made by Magna in its Austrian plant this summer, where the company already has plans to manufacture the Jaguar I-Pace SUV in 2018.
Carmakers are investing heavily on electric or petrol hybrids, owing to government mandates and rising air pollution issues. Consumer demand on the other hand, however, is still weak for such plug-in hybrids.
Magna is amongst the top auto suppliers to manufacture cars on a contract basis, and its plant in Austria can manufacture around 2 lakh cars a year. The auto supplier is also building a new plant in Slovenia to keep up with demand.
Building cars is not a new business platform for Magna as the company has built MINI Countryman for BMW and the G-Wagon for Mercedes in the past.
Demand and competition for electric and plug-in hybrids are expected to grow exponentially in the future. Carmakers who have invested in such technologies earlier are expected to reap benefits first, and extra help is welcome.